Fiberglass Shingles Price Guide
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The roof can be one of the most expensive items in your home and that is why it’s imperative to do your research and pick the best roofing material for your home and area. Fiberglass shingles are extremely durable and oftentimes, come with a lifetime warranty. They are not as expensive as other roofing materials, yet provide a look many homeowners are accustomed to. Continue reading to see all the prices that go into fiberglass shingles.
Lowest Average Cost: $40 per roof square
Highest Average Cost: $200 per roof square
Fiberglass shingles are relatively inexpensive for the quality they represent. However, there are are lot of varieties of fiberglass shingles to choose from, and the quality varies widely on either end of the price spectrum. The most inexpensive fiberglass shingles are generally intended to last for 20 years. High-end fiberglass shingles are frequently sold with a lifetime warranty; homeowners investing in the higher-cost shingles would be well served to seek this kind of warranty to get their money's worth.
Quality is the primary indicator of price variance, but there are some shingles that cost more for their specialized aesthetic qualities. These will most frequently be designed to imitate other materials like genuine wood or slate. Price will also vary according to the style of shingle chosen with complex designs being more expensive, but this will be a relatively minor difference in comparison to quality.
A standard fiberglass shingle is structurally very similar to a traditional asphalt shingle. Traditional shingles are made of pressed wood, paper and other fibrous products that are then wrapped in asphalt to afford them weatherproof properties. Fiberglass shingles use a fiberglass core wrapped in asphalt. Fiberglass is generally sturdier as compared to pressed paper products and lighter in weight as well.
The precursor to the fiberglass shingle is the felt mat shingle. This is worth noting because some fiberglass shingle designs still use a felt layer. These are not pure fiberglass shingles, and the mixed materials do not provide any benefit. They are slightly lighter in weight but considerably less durable.
Most modern fiberglass shingles utilize two separate fiberglass layers. These layers are bonded with sealant before they are coated with asphalt. This makes them significantly heavier, but it greatly increases their durability and effective lifespan. Weight ceases to be a factor after the roofing is installed as long as the structure of the building can support the weight, so these are strictly superior under ordinary circumstances.
Laminate is frequently used on fiberglass shingles as well, and it carries both structural and aesthetic purposes. From a structural standpoint, laminate provides an additional layer that can allow the asphalt to resist higher winds under storm conditions as well as mitigate the degradation of the asphalt over time from water runoff. These are notable benefits in stormy or rainy environments where extra water resistance is desired over the years of a roof's lifespan. Laminate is also the material used to make fiberglass shingles look like other materials. Higher-quality laminate may come with a matte coating to allow the shingle to better mimic other substances as appropriate, though this also causes them to absorb more thermal energy.
Advantages of Fiberglass Shingles
Fiberglass shingles are exceedingly durable for their weight, and they are more durable than traditional shingles. They are not the most durable shingles available, but they are better than other roofing materials of similar quality grades. They are largely resistant to sun damage and are very waterproof. High-end fiberglass shingles frequently come with warranties, and lifetime warranties are not out of the question, though this can vary in viability depending on who is available in the area to perform installations.
The light weight of fiberglass shingles makes them relatively easy to work with during installation. This is a major concern with high-end shingles, particularly for large homes where an increase in weight can spell a dramatic increase in installation difficulty. The availability of different styles means that finding fiberglass shingles of appropriate weight is also a possibility. Stormier climates make heavier shingles a more attractive option.
Fiberglass is considerably more fire resistant than pressed fiber. This can be a great advantage in drier climates where fire risks are higher. Traditional shingles can be very volatile in the worst cases. Aside from the immediate benefits afforded by fire resistance, the use of fiberglass shingles can be leveraged in some insurance considerations for the purposes of securing a better fire insurance policy on a home.
The energy efficiency of fiberglass shingles is top notch. Fiberglass makes a great insulator to keep cool air in and warm air out of a home. This is another great benefit in drier, hotter climates. The asphalt of a shingle will inevitably absorb a lot of thermal energy from the sun, but the fiberglass core of a shingle can defray this easily. Higher-quality shingles, particularly those that use two fiberglass layers in their core, are even more efficient at dissipating heat, making this a quantifiable benefit of higher-quality roofing materials.
Disadvantages of Fiberglass Shingles
Fiberglass shingles are not fragile, but they must be nailed more carefully than traditional shingles. There is some risk that the fiberglass core will be broken if it is not nailed properly, and this can reduce the efficacy of the shingle and result in necessary maintenance down the line. It is generally a good idea to look for roofers that specialize in fiberglass shingles or have experience with them to avoid issues with installation errors. Additionally, installers must take care to leave appropriate gaps with fiberglass shingles. Because they are great insulators and are able to keep heat out, they are also effective at keeping heat in. If heat is unable to escape from a home, structural disruption and warping may occur.
Fiberglass shingles are not an ideal choice for cold areas. While they are extremely water-resistant and capable of defraying heat, they are not as effective in cold weather. Extremely cold temperatures can cause the fiberglass to warp and become more brittle, resulting in internal fracturing that can compromise the quality of the roof. Homeowners may wish to consider other roofing materials if they live in an area with harsh winters. When in doubt, it's best to consult local roofing specialists and see if they have been enlisted for winter repair of fiberglass shingles in the past.
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Last updated on Jul 2, 2014